Author Archives: Pete Mihalek

About Pete Mihalek

Mihalek is a former Meister Media Worldwide editor.

Snow Loads: Holding The Winter Weight

A brutal winter can be a real wake-up call for growers. Forcing you to ask questions: Are my greenhouse structures up to par? Are they strong enough to withstand heavy snow from a late and unexpected storm while we’re in the middle of production? The questions are legitimate ones, and industry veterans provide some answers.

Ornamental Grasses Are Gaining Steam

Emerald Coast Growers marketing manager John Friel says ornamental grasses are no longer a niche crop but an accepted presence, part of the perennial mainstream. Whether they serve as a stand-alone specimen or in mixed containers, grasses are getting lots of new play. Friel also believes that while durable, native varieties are in vogue, tender

10 Retailer Likes And Dislikes

- It’s nice to be able to call someone’s cell phone,” says Stephen Barlow of Barlow’s Flowers in Sea Girt, N.J. Using Lloyd Traven of Peace Tree Farm as an example, “It can be 6 o’clock in the morning or 8 o’clock at night and he’ll pick up his phone.” – “Sounds funny, but we

Communicating With Retailers

This Week’s Special Tom Lakers, owner of Willow Ridge Garden Center in Oak Ridge, Tenn., runs an almost year-long promotion that spotlights a choice in-bloom perennial or shrub each week. “Growers are starting to look for things for us because they’ve realized we want to do this,” Lakers says. “One of our regular growers just

When To Water

University of Georgia’s Marc van Iersel is focused on knowing when to water. For the last seven years he has been working with soil moisture sensors to improve irrigation and reduce leaching and runoff water– seeking total water-use efficiency. Simultaneously, colleagues at the University of Maryland and Carnegie Mellon University were developing equipment that could

Succulents: What’s Old Is New

Succulents meet consumers. Consumers meet succulents. That may be a little extreme–they aren’t complete strangers–but a familiarity of this market on a consumer level has definitely been lacking. Until now. As one grower states, succulents are far from new and with consumer tastes becoming more refined, these plant types are beginning to see a resurgence

Quantifying The Quality

For greenhouse growers, the U.S. Green Building Council is a tough nut to crack, especially when it comes to its Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification process. LEED is a prestigious third-party certification program and a national benchmark that promotes a whole-building approach to sustainability in five key areas of human and environmental

Plant Growth Regulator Primer

For some growers, the acronym PGR can mean one of two things – plant growth regulator or plant growth retardant, both of which tend to get used interchangeably. “This is okay, but can be misleading,” says Jason Fausey, Valent research and development specialist. “I like the term regulator, simply because it can be applied to

Analyzing Soil Humidity Remotely: Your Sixth Sensor

Growing up, you learn that relationships are built on trust. Growing in a greenhouse, you learn the relationship you have with your plants is also built on trust–mostly trusting yourself when it comes to knowing what your crops like and don’t like, need and don’t need. Hoogendoorn Growth Management developed a wireless monitoring system called

Monitor Moisture Wirelessly

Growing up, you learn that relationships are built on trust. Growing in a greenhouse, you learn the relationship you have with your plants is also built on trust – mostly trusting yourself when it comes to knowing what your crops like and don’t like, need and don’t need.  Hoogendoorn Growth Management developed a wireless monitoring